“What’s not to love about a good alliteration,” says the word geek inside of me.

But seriously, waiting in the wings with Westjet was not how I had envisioned my son’s surprise trip to Toronto turning out.  But first, this is NOT a sponsored post. As a blogger, I need to make that clear from the jet-go!

On April 20th, at 10:15 am I picked up my 4th grader during his recess time. I was heading to Toronto for a conference. That part he already knew, but what he didn’t know was that he would be tagging along. It was a very special 10th birthday surprise present for him. We would be boarding our Westjet flight at 11:20 am from Halifax, NS to Ottawa for a quick plane change. But you know what they say about best-laid plans or planes in this case.

We made the best of it

By the time we arrived in Ottawa our flight had already been delayed from 3:20 to 4:20 pm. But we made the best of it by having a mom and kid lunch date at Fionn MacCool’s (My veggie monster recommends the kids pasta with a side of cucumbers, his fav).

We were having the best day; the kid was really looking forward to his weekend with his cousins while momma worked. Our lunch time conversation went from “I cannot wait to have birthday cake” to “My friends aren’t going to believe I got to sit with the captain.”

Just before leaving our Halifax flight to deplane in Ottawa, a lovely Westjetter asked if my kid wanted to come meet the captain. I wish I had taken a better picture of him with Captain Lauren. My one snap caught her with her eyes shut; I was capturing memories and not blog shots. I didn’t realize in that moment that I would feel the need to blog about what would happen next.

Losing his patience

Our flight kept getting delayed while we waited at the Ottawa airport. And the kid was losing his patience. This had been his first time traveling in a long time. He couldn’t even remember being on a plane before, that’s how long it had been. This adventure felt like it was his first time all over again.

Photo c/o Upsplash Audrey Larin

When we left Halifax I had told him we would be at his uncle’s place in time for birthday cake. My mom and sister in law had a big dinner prepared; it was both my dads and my brothers birthday that day. The last time we were together for a family birthday had been six years ago, right before my father’s passing. My heart broke a little more with every “Attention passengers of flight 369 to Toronto…”

There would be no cake

Once bums were in seats, we continued to sit for another THREE hours before moving. Mother Nature and Toronto airport had other plans for us. Anyone that has a young child will understand that those three hours felt like a day and a half. There were tears, a lot of hugs and continuous reassurance that everything would be ok. But there would be no cake.

Photo c/o Upsplash Annie Spratt

Westjetters all around us

As a parent, my job was to keep my son calm and engaged. I did my best but I was also feeling stressed. The Westjet crew from our earlier flight were now sitting next to us in the last few rows of the plane. These Westjetters were familiar to my son, they helped him feel more at ease. The in-flight crew also brought my son as much water and snacks as he needed. They also kept me caffeinated which was very important because of the sleepy meds I had to take.

Not only did they keep us hydrated but the traveling crew kept us laughing. At one point we were all looking at a picture of a miniature pony. Westjetter Shannon joked about the possibility of one day having to board one as a companion animal.

Photo c/o Upsplash Mikael Kristenson

Missing family time was disappointing but it is always important to keep things in perspective. It could have been a lot worse. I am truly grateful to the Westjet staff for their patience, kindness, and service.

The kid would never have gotten back on a plane again if it weren’t for being ‘stuck’ with a crew of caring professionals. On the way back, he was still a little nervous. I promised him the Westjet snack pack that he wanted on the way up.

The best way to keep him calm is to feed him, as often as possible! Here are a few words from his highness regarding his thoughts on the snack box.

What a kook! Last night he says, “I wish you had named me Oscar, I think if that were my name I could be a comedian!” The future is bright my son…and remember to always fly Westjet. Especially if your companion animal likes to eat a lot.